Standing with Ukraine against Russia’s invasion has become a bipartisan cause in the U.S., but a few prominent liberals made it cringeworthy last week.
Some commentators question if America’s leaders are competent enough to manage the escalating conflict with Russia.
With the war in Ukraine at an apparent stalemate and the civilian death toll rising, some U.S. political figures have been urgently seeking a solution — while others have been doing this:
1. NANCY PELOSI: During an annual St. Patrick’s Day luncheon at the Capitol on Thursday, the House speaker enthusiastically read a new poem about Ukraine by U2 frontman Bono.
possibly the most embarrassing thing I have ever seen pic.twitter.com/m8wDfyJ2zv
— Alex Shephard (@alex_shephard) March 17, 2022
“Ireland’s sorrow and pain / Is now the Ukraine / And St. Patrick’s name now [Ukraine President Volodymyr] Zelenskyy,” Pelosi intoned at one point before pausing to solicit applause from audience.
- Pelosi had hyped her performance of the poem at her weekly press conference, saying coyly “just, maybe, you might want to watch.”
- On Wednesday, Pelosi introduced Zelenskyy before his address to Congress by declaring, in Ukrainian, “Glory to Ukraine!”
2. RANDI WEINGARTEN: The president of the American Federation of Teachers on Wednesday posted a pro-Ukraine tweet that managed to botch both the flag and the name of the embattled country.
you also misspelled Ukraine pic.twitter.com/NExWOcW1kn
— Corey A. DeAngelis (@DeAngelisCorey) March 16, 2022
“We #StandWithUkriane” Weingarten tweeted along with a photo of her and a deputy holding a Ukraine-flag-themed sign emblazoned with the same slogan.
- While the words on the placard were spelled correctly, the colors of the flag were inverted, with the yellow above the blue.
- The photo was attached to a tweet by the influential teachers union, which was quickly deleted; Weingarten then took down her tweet, too.
3. THE AFL-CIO: The coalition of unions also deleted a tweet Wednesday that featured a photo of Weingarten and other executives brandishing the upside-down Ukraine flag signs.
The @AFLCIO has now deleted their photoshopped “stand with Ukraine” photo.
Join me on a journey.
5 PM – post photo with “Stand with Ukraine” posters
Get dragged for upside down Ukrainian flags
10 PM – post new image with signs photoshopped (poorly)
9:30 AM delete pic.twitter.com/8D7B6hPN4R
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) March 16, 2022
The union group, which includes the American Federation of Teachers, later reposted an apparently edited version of the photo in which the signs were corrected.
Russia hawks and doves alike have raised concerns about the seriousness of the American discourse about Ukraine.
- “We can’t have a coherent policy about Ukraine, refugees or anything else without knowing who we are,” National Review editor Kathryn Jean Lopez wrote Monday.
- “If you’re starting to get the impression that the people formulating our foreign policy have no freaking clue what they’re talking about … you may be onto something,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson said Friday on his show.